Barbara P
Barbara P

Scholarship Essay Format - A Complete Guide

11 min read

Published on: Apr 6, 2023

Last updated on: Jul 23, 2024

scholarship essay format

You know that feeling of being overwhelmed by a blank page, trying to find the perfect words to showcase your achievements and ambitions?

Getting a scholarship for a college education is a dream of every bright student. Apart from remarkable grades and admission tests, the financial aid you want to achieve requires an impressive scholarship essay.

A scholarship essay is a form of document drafted for the committee to present your need for financial assistance. This essay persuades the decision-makers to grant you a scholarship to study further.

This essay type is often submitted along with the scholarship application. Like all other formal writings, this essay is written following a proper structure. Depending on the guidelines of the authorities, it is essential to follow a scholarship essay format.

If you have no clue about the format and formation of a scholarship essay, continue reading the blog.

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What is a Scholarship Essay Format?

Every piece of writing needs to be structured to be effective. Similarly, the scholarship essay also requires a writer to present content in a systematized manner.

A scholarship essay format is a set of guidelines that the writer must follow in drafting a structured document. This format organizes the information and makes it understandable for the scholarship committee.

Writing an essay in a proper format can be beneficial for both the applicant and the committee member.  Committee members read and review the essays of different students. However, a formatted piece helps them analyze each essay in a better way.

Students often underestimate the importance of correct formatting. Just as essential it is to draft good content for your essay, it is equally important to get the format right.

When writing a scholarship, go through the guidelines provided and understand them thoroughly. It is to make sure that the format used is what is required and preferred by the committee.

The following section will be talking about the elements involved in the formatting of the winning scholarship essay.

How to Format a Scholarship Essay

Wondering what format should I use for a scholarship essay?

Every scholarship application provides a set of instructions that clearly states the formatting details. However, If you are not provided with any specifications, use the proper way to format scholarship essays. 

According to the basic design, the following requirements should be fulfilled to make the scholarship essay well written and structured.

  • The content should be double spaced
  • Use a simple and easy-to-read font style, such as Times New Roman font
  • Keep the font size between 10 to 12 pt.
  • Align your content leaving a one-inch margin on all sides of the page
  • Present your last name and page number on the left side of the paper.
  • Titles can also be given. This is something optional and depends on the writer’s preference.

Other requirements, such as the word count and indented paragraphs, are mentioned in the guidelines. The average word count of a scholarship essay is around 300 words. The jury finds more extended essays monotonous that can risk your chances of getting the scholarship.

Moreover, the essay should be outlined appropriately, as well. All the content present in your essay should be divided into three sections; introduction, body, and conclusion. It will allow the committee to understand your document better.

Here's an example table for an overview of the format of a scholarship essay:

LengthFollow the word count or page limit requirements provided.
Font Style         Use a clear and easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman.
Font SizeUse a standard font size such as 12 point.
MarginsUse 1-inch margins on all sides of the document.
Line SpacingUse double spacing throughout the document.
HeadingInclude a header with your name and page number on each page.
TitleInclude a title that reflects the content of your essay.
IntroductionBegin with an introduction that hooks the reader's attention.

Develop the body with clear and concise paragraphs.

ConclusionEnd with a conclusion that reinforces your thesis.
Proofreading Proofread and edit the essay for grammar and spelling errors.
SubmitSubmit the essay before the deadline provided.

Again, this is just an example and your scholarship essay may require different formatting guidelines based on the prompt and the scholarship program.

How long Should a Scholarship Essay Be?

Some scholarships may require a very short essay, such as 250 words or less. Others may allow for a longer essay of 500-1000 words or more. 

It is important to carefully read and follow the instructions to ensure that your essay meets their requirements.

If there is no specific word count requirement, it is still important to keep the essay concise and focused on the topic provided. 

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How to Write a Scholarship Essay

Outlining the essay is one of the most important steps that you should take before starting your writing. A scholarship essay outline helps organize thoughts and ensure that each paragraph presents an idea or point relevant to the essay topic.  

How to Start a Scholarship Essay?

The introduction of your scholarship essay should be written in an interesting way. It should also be able to capture the attention of the reader at first glance. The introduction must convince your reader and establish an emotional connection with them.  

You can start writing by introducing yourself, or you can start by introducing the topic of the essay. Introducing oneself is a great way to make a scholarship essay memorable, as it allows readers to connect with you on an emotional level. 

How to Write Body Paragraphs for a Scholarship Essay? 

The body of your essay should include all the arguments and points that support the essay topic. Each point should be discussed in a separate paragraph and presented with relevant examples, quotes, statistics, or facts. 

The body must also state how each argument supports your opinion. This will make it easier for readers to understand your point of view. 

Make sure to keep each body paragraph under 250 words. Writing longer paragraphs can make them monotonous and might lead the reader to lose interest. 

How to Conclude a Scholarship Essay? 

In the conclusion, you should restate the main points that you discussed in the essay. You should also emphasize how the scholarship can help you achieve your academic goals. 

The conclusion must be written in a powerful way and leave an impact on the reader’s mind. You can also provide some advice, tips, or personal insight that will motivate readers to take action. 

Scholarship Essay Format Examples

To understand the scholarship essay formatting better, go through some examples. Written samples will help you evaluate the writing process and the structure in a better way.

Here are some sample essays that might help to get you started

Sample 1:

College Scholarship Essay Format

As a first-generation college student and daughter of immigrant parents, I have always been driven to succeed academically. However, as I prepare to enter my senior year of high school, I am acutely aware of the financial barriers that may prevent me from achieving my dream of attending a four-year university. This scholarship would not only provide the financial assistance necessary to pursue my education, but also inspire me to continue to work hard and achieve my goals.

Sample 2:

Throughout my high school career, I have dedicated myself to community service and leadership roles. Whether it was volunteering at a local homeless shelter or organizing a school-wide fundraiser, I have always been passionate about making a positive impact on the world around me. Receiving this scholarship would allow me to continue my commitment to service and leadership in college, where I plan to major in social work and make a difference in the lives of those in my community.

Sample 3:

Growing up in a low-income household, I have always been aware of the financial struggles that my family faced. Despite these challenges, I have remained focused on my academic and personal goals, which include attending college and pursuing a career in engineering. This scholarship would not only provide the financial assistance necessary to make these dreams a reality, but also serve as a reminder that hard work and dedication can overcome even the most difficult of obstacles.

Below are some more scholarship essay samples and how they should be formatted. 

Tips for Scholarship Essay Format

Whether you are given the instructions to follow or not, it can be challenging to meet all the requirements. Even when formatting your essay, you will have to make choices to come up with the right option correctly.

To help you write the most structured scholarship application essay, the following are some tips from experts for you:

  • The first and foremost step is to read and understand the guidelines provided.
  • If not given, use the basic formatting where the font size is 10 to 12pt. And the word count is 300 to 350 words.
  • Understand the essay prompt carefully and stick to it.
  • If the instructions require you to write a one-page essay, avoid using double spacing.
  • Either use a blank line or a paragraph indent but never both.
  • To make the essay readable, use 1.5 or double spacing between the lines.
  • Your scholarship essay does not require you to add an essay question in the beginning so just provide answers.
  • Always proofread your essay, as it is extremely important to submit a perfect piece. Check for mistakes and errors and fix them before handing them over to the jury. Essay read again and again until you make it perfect.

Following these tips is essential to draft a high-quality and well-formatted essay. Whether you are a high school or a college student, you must know the basics to format all your essays.

The scholarship is an excellent opportunity to fulfill a dream of studying in a reputable institute. These scholarships require students to achieve their academic goals in the best possible way.

Impressing the committee with your writing skills is both important and challenging. However, if your essay does not portray the best of you, the chance of getting the aid might be a risk.

To avoid this situation, you can always get a professional’s help in your scholarship essay. is a legit essay writing website that assists students in drafting their academic assignments. You can also give our AI writing tool a try to get quality essays!

Whether it is a simple college essay or a complicated essay, expert writers can help you by providing professional essay writing service.

Simply place your order to hire a qualified writer today.

Barbara P


Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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